NASA’s Curiosity Rover is truly one of the greatest triumphs of space exploration. Ever since its arrival on the red planet back in 2012, the rover has tirelessly wandered the surface of the planet (covering about 21 kilometers as of 30 July 2019), escalated plenty of Martian mountains and found evidence of salt water in some ancient craters. Among the many tasks of researching Mars, occasionally, the rover sends pictures of the Martian landscape back home, on Earth.
The latest picture
The newest picture sent by the rover captures a distant edge of the Gale Crater, which used to be a lake (now dried-up), and the mountain in the center of it.
Curiosity was traveling Central Butte, which is a rocky structure, in its quest for sedimentary signals that might contain traces of water while also photographing the horizon of Mars, said geologist Kristen Bennett.
The picture might look like a photoshopped image taken on Earth, perhaps in a desert, but make no mistake, it’s a picture coming straight from Mars! The similarity between the terrain of Earth and Mars is another hint towards the fact that Mars used to host life a long time ago, and the newly discovered traces of water only accentuate this idea. It’s a known fact that water is the source of life.
At this very moment, the Curiosity Rover is analyzing the chemical structure of the Central Butte and the environmental conditions, photographing some rock types which are impossible to be observed otherwise.
After it completes this task, Curiosity will venture to the other side of the butte, according to NASA.